US Pushes TikTok to Sell Due to Privacy Concerns

“If TikTok ever gets banned I think a lot of people my age won’t know what to do with themselves.”


Ali Hellerman, staff

The United States government is accusing the popular social media platform, TikTok, of collecting data from American users and sharing it with the Chinese government. As a result, the US government is pushing for the Chinese-based company that owns Tik Tok, Byte Dance, to sell TikTok’s US operations to a US-based company. “I am aware of the privacy concerns with TikTok which is one of the reasons I don’t have it,” said sophomore Kylie Crawford, adding, “If it does end up getting banned I think the TikTok alternatives like youtube shorts and Instagram reels are going to become popular.”

During Donald Trump’s presidency, an executive order banning TikTok’s US operations, unless it was handed over to an American company, was issued. “I remember when people thought the app was going to get shut down, everyone was really upset,” said Garcia. In response to President Trump’s order, Byte Dance proposed to sell some of its control over TikTok to Oracle, a Texas-based tech company.

While the deal was approved by both the American and Chinese governments, and China tightened its export controls to stop the sale of technologies to foreign countries, the US has recently resumed pressuring Byte Dance to completely sell its US operations to Oracle. 

These national security concerns transpired from an investigation of TikTok’s data records by the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). While the investigation found data concerns, some students don’t see why they are dangerous. “I can understand why banning TikTok would be necessary for maintaining national security but at the same time I feel like there’s not much information on teens’ phones that could even be a security threat,” said Crawford. Conversely, junior Isaiah Nickleson, “hopes the public becomes more informed about TikTok’s security issues.” 

Despite the national security concerns surrounding the app, and whether or not it remains in the hands of Byte Dance, TikTok’s popularity, and cultural influence will continue to grow, making it a significant player in the social media landscape.